6 Strategies for Professional Pet Photography

Pets are an interesting and fun subject to pursue in photography. Apart from the cuteness they exhibit, they are natural in posing for different shots. In pet photography, what you see is what you get considering that we don’t speak the same language. In addition to skill, it requires patience to exhibit their daily lives. Most photographers choose portraits and custom pet portraits over pet photography because they are harder to manage because of their unpredictable movements.

Build a Connection

Pets are very sweet and emotional. When they feel a safe connection, they tend to calm down. This is very common among professional photographers. They find it difficult to get ahold of the trust. Pets are into their corresponding humans. To take amazing photographs of animals, you have to prove that you are worthy of their trust. Building a connection between the guardian and the pet will give you a better understanding of their pet’s personality.

Building a connection with pets is a way of initiating and proving that you are a person they can trust. When they start to become playful around you, this is the time that you can play with the pet’s different poses. Know that they are smaller than the human size. Adjust by kneeling, lying on your front, and other poses to take the greatest shots of the pets.

Lure Pets with Treats

Pets have their corresponding needs and want. They are trained to do something in exchange for treats as proof that they have done something great. This is very common, especially among cats and dogs. Make sure that you are packed with treats along with your equipment. Treats are the key to a well-photographed pet. Give them treats and toys in exchange for the big smiles on their faces and for their cooperation. Know the importance of pet treats and how these make them happy and acknowledged.

Free the Environment From Distraction

When the environment is filled with things they want to nibble, pet photography would be messy. Not all pets are blessed with the talent of focus. Seeing something familiar will make them want to smell and investigate. It would be great to clear the studio or the environment from possible distractions such as toys. Taking photographs within a clear white background would be best too. Apart from the clean-looking photographs, pets wouldn’t have a choice but to look in front. Take that opportunity to take many shots as much as you can.

Shoot in Their Natural Environment 

Our pets have a daily routine. They play, eat, sleep, bathe, and discharge on a daily basis. Allow them to roam within an environment which is familiar to them which will give you an opportunity to capture photos of these pets as natural as possible. Give them an object familiar to them like travel accessories for dogs, shoes, slippers, balls, or other things they find interesting. When pets are placed in a new environment, they tend to be uneasy and fearful.

Their instincts of pets are very sensitive especially dogs and cats. They have the habit of evaluating their surroundings before they feel comfortable. When they have felt comfortable, make them feel like you’re still playing with them. Directing pet photography may require plenty of effort but seeing the output is priceless.

Using your mobile device is a great way of taking photos of your pets in their natural environment. You won’t interrupt whatever they are doing. They won’t be self-conscious as well since unfamiliar devices, like a huge camera, might intimidate them. You don’t have to hold your mobile device while waiting for that perfect shot. You can position it on a mobile holder instead to avoid straining your hands, which might make you impatient.

Pay Attention to Proper Lighting

Ambient and artificial lighting works well in pet photography. But always bear in mind the nature of animals that a burst of flash can cause fear and red-eye. The use of natural light remains the top choice in photographing animals. Controlling the brightness may seem hard but this is where the pet is most comfortable. When they are exposed to a natural environment like the outdoors, this will reveal their most playful self.

Artificial lighting, on the other hand, should be kept to a minimum. There are cameras, lasting batteries, and lighting equipment beneficial to pet photography. LED lighting panels are very on demand because of the amazing features of controlling the amount and color of light. Since flash is restricted in pet photography, effective lighting should be a priority. Don’t dwell on the idea that without the flash the shots will be too dim or too noisy. Adjust your equipment to come up with quality-based photos.

Exhibit Their Character

As a photographer, you should see through the character of the pet through the lens. Reveal how interesting and satisfying their life can be. The simple life of pets is filled with fun, love, and passion. When a pet is sad or happy, you can see right through their eyes. Small things make them happy and excited that it is a joy to behold for their owners.

Next step: have a painted dog portrait made from your photo

A photo is a beautiful memory but if you would like something completely unique you might want to consider a painted dog portrait. Wonderstreet is a platform where independent artists paint affordable dog portraits. You just need a photo and they will guide you through the process, its very easy and the results are outstanding.

dog portraits


Pet photography is not rocket science but it is a tricky profession or hobby to pursue. Most photographers prefer people and nature as their subjects because of efficient directing. What makes pet photography stand out is the patience and dedication in every shot taken. 

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